chapter  4
Exceptionality in External Affairs: Botswana in the African and Global Arenas
ByJames Zaffiro
Pages 18

Botswana has made a transition from the "Switzerland of Africa" to the "Sweden of Africa" in less than a decade. Its heightened diplomatic and military profile in regional, continental, and even global affairs today is truly puzzling for all but a few who have watched its leaders and diplomats skillfully maneuver in troubled waters since independence. Domestic political and economic priorities, particularly development needs and goals, are indistinguishable from regime foreign policy objectives. Since 1989, President Masire has had to contend with more than his share of factional strife within the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), aggravated by corruption scandals and forced resignations of top cabinet officials. Botswana's diplomatic and military role in Mozambique was pivotal in helping to achieve and maintain the unsteady cease-fire between the Maputo government and Mozambique National Resistance Movement (RENAMO) forces. Botswana opened a new embassy in the People's Republic of China (PRC) "to take care of trade and commercial interests in the Far East".